Police chief set to step down from councils

Criticism: Mr Grunshaw
Criticism: Mr Grunshaw
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Lancashire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner will step down from his roles on borough and county councils, he has revealed.

Clive Grunshaw made the announcement to the Evening Post after coming under fire from Lancashire County Council leader Geoff Driver, who urged him to give up the allowances he earns as a county councillor and Wyre borough councillor, arguing his job as PCC was a “full-time role.”

Speaking at a meeting of Lancashire County Council yesterday, which Coun Grunshaw did not attend, Coun Driver also branded Coun Grunshaw’s appointments of a deputy and four assistants a “shambles”, saying all but one are previous members of the now defunct Lancashire Police Authority.

Coun Driver said: “There is a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel next week where Coun Grunshaw will have to come and explain, particularly about the appointment of his deputies.

“It’s an absolute disgrace and something Coun Grunshaw should put to rights as soon as possible.

“I don’t think anyone would be expected to do the job on his or her own but if you are appointing a deputy and four assistants there should be some transparency. Four of the five appointments were previously members of the police authority. That is simply not appropriate.”

Former police authority member Ibrahim Master is set to be appointed deputy commissioner, subject to approval by the panel.

Meanwhile Saima Afzal, also a former authority member, former authority chairman Bruce Jassi and former vice-chairman Amanda Webster will be joining as assistant commissioners.

Coun Grunshaw said: “Sadly this is a clear case of sour grapes from Coun Driver.

“His party suffered a crushing defeat in the recent elections for a Police and Crime Commissioner in Lancashire and I can understand how vulnerable that must make him feel – coming less than six months prior to the county council elections.

“Coun Driver will be aware that it was his Government that explicitly included a provision within the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 to permit incoming Police and Crime Commissioners to remain as local councillors.

“He will also be aware that I have already stood down as leader of Wyre Labour Group and that I will stand down from Wyre Council in the New Year and Lancashire County Council next May. This will enable both elections to take place on the same day – ensuring good value for the council taxpayer.”